For a senior, a fall can mean the loss of independence and mobility. Often due to osteoporosis, a senior’s bones are much more fragile, so a low impact fall can quickly turn into a very serious injury. Of all the areas in the home, the staircase is the most frequent place for a fall and is also the most likely place to cause a serious injury among seniors.
Since the stairs are so dangerous, it is common for a senior to become anxious on the stairs, even more so if they have had a previous falls. This anxiousness can also increase the risk of a fall, which is why remaining calm is so important. The senior might also decide to simply avoid areas with stairs or to only use them when there is someone ready to help. While effective to a degree, they do not really or fully address the actual issue at hand, which is being able to use the stairs safely and with confidence. It is for this reason that the stair lift is so often used in homes and businesses across the country.
Stair lifts are a type of home lifting aid that is used to allow an individual full independent use of the stairs. The lift actually carries an individual up the stairs, most attaching directly onto the stairs. A chair or platform is used. In the case of the latter, an individual must remain standing as they use their lift, which is not as safe as the seated stair lift. Most recommend that a stair chair should be used, unless for medical reasons you need a standing stair lift.
No matter if you go with a stair chair or a standing stair lift, they will both use a tracked system. The track is first attached to the stairs, then the chair or platform moves up the track.
There are a few different types of stair lifts to choose from, but they fall into two main categories. The most common type of stair lift used is the battery powered stair life. The main advantage to using these types of lifts is that they work even if the power goes out. This is not the case with AC powered stair lifts, which get their power directly from the home. An AC powered stair lift will cost a little bit less, both in upfront costs and also recurring maintenance costs, but if the power goes out, the lift stops working. For most, the added security of a battery back-up, outweighs the extra cost.
Older battery stair lifts had actually been rather inefficient. Much like a cordless phone, they required that you parked the stair lift in a certain place in order for it to charge. If you missed the point on the track that charged the stair lift, the battery could become worn down. Today, most stair lifts use a continuously charging system, so no matter where the stair lift is on the track, it will be charging.